August 30, 2009
Sermon on Ephesians 6:10-20 for the 13th Sunday after Pentecost
Sermon Talking Points: Read past sermons at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.blogspot.com Listen to audio at: http://thejoshuavictortheory.podbean.com
1. What is the source of power for the “armor of God” that we wear? How does the text tell us this?
2. Who or what is our real enemy? What kind of battle are we constantly engaged in, even though life may seem calm and peaceful? Who or what is not our real enemy? How do we sometimes mistakenly war against the wrong enemy?
3. What are the two opposite errors about the existence of the devil that we can fall into, according to C.S. Lewis?
4. How is it to the devil’s advantage when people deny his existence? Or when they’re too fascinated with demons, etc? What are examples of either thing happening?
5. Whose armor do we wear, and how does each implement of armor protect us? Why should a Christian never enter battle half-dressed? Why wear the whole armor?
6. What are some of our offensive weapons against Satan? How do we keep the devil on the run?
7. What is the sole reason that we can face down the spiritual powers of darkness at all? How do we have assurance of victory?
August 23, 2009
Sermon on Ephesians 5:22-33 for the 12th Sunday after Pentecost
Sermon Talking Points:
1. Why are our feelings not a reliable indicator of truth? What is, and why can we be certain? John 17:14-19; John 18:37-38.
2. What are examples of how God’s design for sexuality and marriage are being eroded around us? How have we sinned in this way, in words, actions, or in our heart?
3. A friend who isn’t aware of the differences between the ELCA or the LCMS asks you, “Hey, didn’t you Lutherans just issue a statement accepting homosexuality and gay marriage?” How would you respond? Mark 10:6-9; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; Rom. 1:26-27
4. How can we gently but firmly use the compass of God’s Word to guide people back to the truth? Be in prayer!! Eph. 4:14-15
5. Why could God’s pattern and design for sexuality and marriage be appealing to our broken world? 1 Cor. 13; Eph. 5:22-33, etc
6. How does God describe the interaction between husbands and wives? How does this contrast to the way of our sinful nature?
7. How does Christ show His love for the church? How does He present her to God? How does this help us in our failures? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Side note: Mark 7:4 is very interesting, because the word used for “washing” in the Greek original is “baptismos,” the same as the word for baptism. But here it refers to the washing of cups, pots, copper vessels, and (in some ancient manuscripts) dining couches. Why is this significant? Some have argued that the word baptism must refer to a full-body immersion, not dipping, pouring, or sprinkling. But the kind of washing described using the word “baptismos” in this verse includes large items that couldn’t be immersed or would be impractical to wash in that way. Conclusion? Baptism simply means to wash with water, and doesn’t specify how much water or the method that is used.
August 19, 2009
Sermon on John 6:51-69 for the 11th Sunday after Pentecost.
Sermon Talking Points: 1. Read Proverbs 9:1-6. What is meant by eating and drinking in verse 5? What is gained by this eating and drinking?
2. What was Jesus’ concern for in John 6? For keeping the truth of God’s Word, or keeping the multitude of followers who didn’t fully accept His teachings? What benefit is there to ourselves or to our hearers, if we sacrifice the truth in order to attract listeners?
3. Read Leviticus 17:10-15. Why were the Israelites not permitted to eat/drink blood? What was in the blood, and what was the significance of the blood in sacrifice?
4. What teachings of Jesus stretch us (or you personally) beyond your comfort zone? What is the reason? Why must we bring our sinful flesh into submission to faith?
5. Read John 6:68. Where in the liturgy do we sing these words, and why?
6. There are two ways in which we eat of Christ, spiritually by faith, and the oral eating of Christ in the sacrament. Which one is in primary focus in John 6? Who benefits from this eating?
7. Why is the first kind of eating (spiritual) necessary for us to benefit from the second kind of eating (sacramental) when we eat the Lord’s Supper?
August 2, 2009
Sermon on John 6:22-35 for the 9th Sunday after Pentecost
Sermon Talking Points: 1. Read John 6:22-35. How did the people assume they could earn the food that endures to eternal life? How did they assume they could do it, or please God?
2. What single “work of God” did Jesus name? Is it our work? Read Romans 4:4-6. What goes wrong if it’s our work?
3. Describe the sin of discontentment. How does it show itself? What slavery(ies) are you enticed to return to? Possessions & Money: Read Matt. 6:19-24. Food: Matt. 4:1-4. Fear: 1 Pet. 5:7; Matt. 5:25-34. Sensual pleasures: 1 Cor. 6:9-20. Addictions: Eph. 5:18; Rom. 13:13-14. Amusement: Eccles. 2:1-11. Power: Mark 10:35-45.
4. Why is contentment found in Jesus alone? John 6:35. What does Jesus supply that is missing? What is the price for such contentment? How do we receive it?
5. Read Matt. 11:25-30. Why is the contentment that Jesus brings incomparable? What price did Jesus pay to bring us this gift?
August 1, 2009
Special Friday service of Praise and Worship. Sermon on Psalm 8.